Super 15 — Round 5 Preview
14 Mar 2014
Double movement – if there was ever a case of a double movement when scoring a try it was in the Bulls v Blues game last week when the Bulls scored right at the end of the game.
Come on officials get it right – this interpretation of being able to place the ball after being tackled is fine but I struggle when the player turns it into a lunge for the line, and of course endless replays were always going to be in the Bulls favour. It was bollocks!
Chiefs v Stormers – The Chiefs have named their strongest side this year and should be too strong at home. It won’t be easy against a very combative Stormers side who were all but over the line last week against the Crusaders. They aren’t a side that scores lots of points the Stormers and whilst that also applies to points scored against them this Chiefs team has the ability to breach any defence. Any lead by the Chiefs will be very hard for the Stormers to pull back and that pressure will only play into mthe Chiefs hands as they perhaps losen up. Oh and all the rhetoric about holding in rucks will come to nothing.
Chiefs 1 – 12
Rebels v Crusaders – Will the Crusaders finally get their SHIT together? Just how good are the Crusaders, are they in a slump or are they just not that good? The big question this week – is Slade the man to get the backline going (it is a little surprising that he only gets a start at 1 5/8 now). This would be the perfect game for them to show where they are – an opposition who fire up at home, have enough good players to threaten most – and who will be keen to atone for a shabby performance last week. The key for the Mighty REbels will be the set pieces and their defence. The key for the Crusaders will be their attack. Who gets those right will come out on top. Would love an upset, but just think the Rebels might struggle too much up front.
Crusaders 1 – 12
Hurricanes v Cheetahs – Is this the first win for the Hurricanes? They aren’t a great team, at this stage anyway, a few changes this week give them a slightly better look, but that forward pack still fails to convince, and until they get more ruthless up front the backs will struggle. Mind I also think that Barrett is struggling for his best form as well. The Cheetahs have flattered to deceive so far this year, they are in a similar rut as the Hurricanes – they can’t get their game going. So not expecting a lot from this game, which could be played in less than ideal conditions, no doubt in front of another bumper crowd! Have to go with the home team but doubt there will much in it.
Hurricanes 1 – 12
Highlanders v Force – This is a great round with any team capable of a win, there are no real one sided matches, well maybe the last one, but this is another that could go either way based on the last games played by each team. The Force have won the last five times these two have played, so will back themselves here. But the Highlanders have a better look to them this year, there guns are firing, the forwards doing some good work and the midfield is very promising – they are all doing the basics pretty well. Who’d have thought?!? But then the Force looked uncommonly good for 40 minutes last week, admittedly the opposition were pretty ordinary, but confidence is a big part in any sport and they will have gained a fair bit of that from that 1st half. I’m thinking the likes of Ben Smith may make the difference in what will be another close game.
Highlanders 1 – 12
Brumbies v Waratahs – BIG game this – probably the match up of the round. The Waratahs are in terrific form with scoring options all over the place. How do you shut them down? The Brumbies will give it a good go, and will need to keep the Waratahs from getting too much possession for a start. And then defend very well in the inside channels where the Waratahs make so much ground. But keeping Foley, Beale, AAC and Folau all under control is a pretty big ask, and Hooper is another who can influence the contest. I think the Waratahs will be too strong up front, and with Phipps getting the ball quickly to those backs it will be too much for the Brumbies too handle, even at a ground where they rarely win.
Lions v Blues – I don’t know what to think here. This is a pretty good no frills Lions team, another who are doing the basics well, don’t make a lot of mistakes and take all and any points when on offer. Boshoff kicks them from anywhere in your half so that would signal a pretty straight forward gameplan to me, oh and then the players to execute that. So the Blues bring in their two least effective kickers in the most critical positions when playing at altitude, one also the goal kicker who was anything but accurate the last time he played. So that says to me we are going to run it, further determined by the loose forward mix. If the Blues execute well then they certainly have the runners to pull it off, but the offset of that is to trapped in your halof with limited ammunition to get you out. Could be a disaster, could be a watershed moment.
Sharks v Reds – Think the Sharks will be too strong again. They have an all round strength at the moment that looks tough to beat. And Steyn found his best form last week as well – ran the side beautifully. The Reds are going along OK, they outscored the Cheetahs in a pointathon last week and will always threaten with the halves they have. The Reds need to be clever and avoid too much of a forward battle, their smaller loosies will come out 2nd and I would think Cooper and Genia will have a lot of large individuals running at them this week and that may dull their attacking presence a bit. The Sharks have a couple of injuries which will make them slightly less effective, but no less efficient I would think, and such is their confidence in their game plan and the form of the likes of Steyn, Coetzee, Kankowski, Bismarck and Reinach that anything but a Sharks win would surprise.
Sharks 1 – 12